Target tech team trials ‘Drive Up’ fulfilment service

US retailer Target’s technology department has designed and developed a new deliver-to-car service.

Shoppers using Target’s iOS app can order their items, choose the “Drive Up” fulfilment option and receive the products from members of staff as soon as they arrive at their local store’s car park.

Currently in test mode and only available in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the service can be used for nearly 200,000 lines, including home furnishings, toys, electronics, household essentials, non-perishable food and baby-care items.

After an order has been placed in the Target app, the retailer will notify guests when the order is ready to be picked up. Customers select the “I’m on My Way” button when they start their journey to the store, before pulling up into a designated parking space.

“Stopping for diapers and toilet paper may not be glamorous, but it’s still on a lot of our to-do lists,” explained Dawn Block, Target’s senior vice president of digital.

“Drive Up is our latest effort to make it easier and faster for busy guests to conveniently get what they need, and simply get back to their day.”

Target, which now has a website dedicated to UK shoppers, describes the service as a test-and-learn programme, and promises to continue to fine-tune and enhance the experience, ahead of rolling out the service to additional regions in due course.

Retailers from around the globe have spent years trialling new methods of fulfilment in an attempt to offer the most convenient shopping options to consumers.

Foschini Group in South Africa said last year it was testing a “deliver to me” service, which involved local couriers locating shoppers based on their GPS coordinates. Carrefour and E Leclerc are among the French retailers that offer multiple “Drive” locations, where shoppers can order online and pick up their products from dedicated terminals in the retailers’ store car parks.